The process to assess and raise the standards for quality and excellence in the Philippine educa¬tion known as “Accreditation” began in 1957 through the establishment of the Philippine Association of Accredited Schools and Universities (PAASCU). This accrediting agency was intentionally created for private educational institutions.
It was only in the 1980’s when the idea of accreditation for public Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) was presented to the member-institutions of Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) by Dr. Bonifacio Sibayan, then President of Philippine Normal University (PNU), and Dr. Abraham I. Felipe, then President of the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) and subsequently led to the creation of the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP) in 1989. AACCUP responded to the challenges of the accreditation of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) of the country, as well as establishing linkages with other accrediting agencies here and abroad.
CREATION OF ALCU
Local Colleges and Universities (LCUs) are created by their local governments to directly provide and address the intellectual and socio-economic needs of their community. With the increasing number of LCUs, an association was organized known as the Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU) with Dr. Benjamin G. Tayabas as its first President.
BIRTH OF ALCUCOA
ALCUCOA was envisioned by then Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman, Bro. Rolando R. Dizon, FSC, when he invited the ALCU officers to his office for a consultative meeting on August 12, 2003 highlighting the creation of a Commission on Accreditation for Local Colleges and Universities.
The ALCUCOA having been formally organized by the ALCU Board of Directors, was registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 23, 2003 with Dr. Benjamin Tayabas as the interim President, Dr. Ceferina M.P. Taringting, Executive Director and it was finally approved on December 9, 2003.
To come up with a federation of accrediting agencies for government colleges and universities, a joint meeting of the AACCUP and ALCU officers was held, headed by then President Rosario Pimentel, Dr. Manuel T. Corpus and President Benjamin Tayabas.
Hence, on November 20-23, 2003, the 2nd ALCU National Conference was held in Olongapo City with the theme, “Strengthening LCUs through Accreditation.” In this occasion, the National Network of Quality Assurance Agency (NNQAA), a network of accrediting agencies for government colleges and universities was born. On January 8, 2004, NNQAA was registered at the SEC.
This landmark federation of the two accrediting agencies for the public higher educational institutions of the county was witnessed by the national leaders of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Civil Service Commission (CSC), The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The 1st National Accreditation Seminar-Workshop was held last August 12-15, 2004 at the UCCP Shalom Center in Manila. The keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Q. Castañeda, who represented then acting CHED Chairman, Hon. Carlito S. Puno, highlighted the recognition of the ALCUCOA and NNQAA as the certifying agency in the public Higher Educational Institutions. This was eventually embodied in CMO No. 01, s. 2005.
The ALCUCOA continues its commitment to pursue the virtue of excellence and intensify efforts to bring academic standards of its member institutions to greater heights through quality higher education validated by a relevant and responsive quality assurance and accreditation of programs.
ALCUCOA LEADERSHIP THROUGH THE YEARS
Dr. Carolina P. Danao (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig) was the Founding President of ALCUCOA who served from 2004 to 2006. As Founding President, she set up the organization and registered it with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It was during her time when the ALCUCOA instrument was first formulated. She invited PAASCU to dicuss with them the process of LCU accreditation. Her administration focused on making the LCU’s competitive in providing quality education which was at par with private school education, so the ALCUCOA addressed the problem of poverty among low income families. Dr. Ederlinda M. Fiesta, from thr University of City of Caloocan served from 2007 to 2008.
When Prof. Tomas B. Lopez, Jr. of the University of Makati took the lead as President of ALCU, another official from Umak Prof. Adelina S. Patriarca was also elected as the President of the ALCUCOA and led the organization from 2008 to May 6, 2014. During her term, the 1st Employment Summit was conducted together with ALCUCOA partners like the ALCU, Philippine Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She facilitated the accreditation of academic programs from various LCUs like University of Makati, Urdaneta City College, Gordon College, Taguig City University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, Laguna University, City College of Calapan, Mandaue City College, La Carlota College, and Bago City College. Under her term, she also introduced training seminars on “How to Setup Accreditation Centers.”
Other achievements of Dr. Patriarca’s administration where the formulation of the Code of Ethical Conduct of Accreditation, Manual of Operations of ALCUCOA (version 1), the opening of doors to CHED Grant for LCU’s (2.8 M) for LCU’s in Muntinlupa, Pasay, Mandaue, and Marikina. It was during her time when ALCUCOA accreditation instrument was revised with employability as one of the areas. Her engagements with CHED proved to be fruitful when ALCUCOA was allowed to sit with the CHED Coordinating Council. The E.O. 708 was also reviewed during her term, wherein ALCU schools from ALCUCOA were exempted from CHED’s Regional Assessment Team (RQAT) visit for their ALCUCOA accredited academic programs. She also managed to receive the 1st grant of Php 2 Million for ALCUCOA from CHED’s Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF). The Board of Directors during her time also visited Malaysia for an international benchmarking of its quality assurance processes and best practices.
Since May 7, 2014 up to present, Dr. Raymundo P. Arcega, Executive Vice President of UMak and Dr. Elizabeth Montero, President of Urdaneta City University took the lead as the President and Vice-President respectively of the current ALCUCOA Board of Directors.
2014 AND BEYOND
Dr. Arcega’s term was marked by his focus on ensuring sustainability of processes and programs of ALCUCOA. This vision of ensuring sustainability could be seen in the following strategies:
FINALIZED OBE ACCREDITATION INSTRUMENT & MANUAL OF ACCREDITATION.
Continuing the initiatives of the past administration, he organized the finalization of the Outcomes Based Education Instrument and Manual of Accreditation. The 3rd and 4th Regional Consultations in Tagaytay (July 21-22, 2014) and Iloilo (August 27, 2014) were respectively conducted to deliberate and critique ALCUCOA’s accreditation instruments. The 1st Integration and Documentation Committee Meeting for the creation of OBE Curriculum was were also conducted in August 21-22, 2014.
PROFESSIONALIZED QUALIFICATIONS OF ACCREDITORS.
The requirements for being an accreditor were strengthened with the inclusion of basic and advance accreditation trainings and actual experience on on-site accreditation visits. The classification was changed from just having a junior accreditor and senior accreditor into having an assistant accreditor, associate accreditor, and senior accreditor. The wisdom behind this was that the classification and requirements became transparent to the candidates.
At the onset of Dr. Arcega’s administration, he spearheaded the Accreditor’s Certification Training last July 5-6, 2014 at the University of Makati with AACCUP Executive Director Dr. Manuel T. Corpus as Speaker. On January 22, 2015 the Board of Directors of ALCUCOA initiated the implementation of the Second Accreditor’s Training which was conducted in the University of Makati with a total of forty-one (41) participants.
Consequently, last September 12-13, 2015, the Board of Directors invited Dr. Evelyn Cruzada of AACCUP in order to conduct the Advance Training Program for Accreditors with the theme “Defining the Competence, Credibility and Accountability” which was held in the University of Makati. Setup the ALCUCOA Business Office.
During the 7th ALCUCOA Annual National Conference last 2014, the ALCUCOA Office was inaugurated in Academic Building 2 of the University of Makati. Participants from various LCU’s graced the occasion with the Board of Directors leading the blessing of the new ALCUCOA Office.
STANDARDIZED FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS
Pursuant to the vision of sustaining the processes and programs of the ALCUCOA, the Board of Directors standardized financial and administrative processes by establishing standard operating procedures (SOP’s) which promote transparency and accountability of the officers and staff of the ALCUCOA to ease up the auditing of administrative and financial processes.
ORGANIZED THE ALCUCOA MANAGEMENT GROUP
In order to better implement the programs, projects and activities of ALCUCOA, the Board of Directors organized the Management Group composed of an Executive Director, Deputy Treasurer, Administrative Officer, Administrative Assistant, and Technical Assistants from various LCUs.
SUSTAINED CAPABILITY TRAINING PROGRAMS
Sustainability of Capability Training Programs was launched by the ALCUCOA since November 2014 up to present. ALCUCOA boast of actively engaging the member local colleges and universities and other guests in the career of promoting quality assurance through Outcomes-Based Education framework. Looking back, ALCUCOA has already accomplished a total 15 Capability trainings in a span of 2 years from 2014 to 2016. They were as follows:
Transformational Leadership (November 2014, Tagaytay)
OBE Based Curriculum in the Classroom (January 2015, Baguio);
Crafting Outcomes Based Curriculum (March 2015, Calapan);
Proactive Studentry (May 2015, Subic);
Entrepreneurship and Employability (July 2015, Davao);
OBE in the Context of Research, Community Service and Learning Resources (November 2016, Boracay);
Total Quality Management (January 2016, Tagaytay);
Startegic management in Governance and administration (March 2017, Baguio);
Operational OBE Based Curriculum (May 2016, Davao);
Educational Trend and Technology (August 2016, Subic)
INCREASED ALCUCOA MEMBERSHIP
At the onset of Dr. Arcega’s leadership, the 7th ALCUCOA Annual National Conference was successfully held at the University of Makati on October 9 and 10, 2014 with the theme “Promoting Creativity and Innovations among LCU’s through Outcomes Based Education Quality Assurance” and attended by 159 participants out of 40 LCU’s. In preparation to this national conference, active marketing and recruitment activities were initiated. Membership reach expanded to as far as Region 1 up and Region 11 with majority of members coming from NCR and Region IV-A .
As of the 7th Conference, 28% of the total number of LCUs in the country was active members of the ALCUCOA. New Members included Pamantasan ng Cabuyao (2014), Baco Community College (2014), Iloilo City Community College (2014), Pangantucan College of Arts, Sciences and Technology (2014).
The list expanded the following year with the inclusion of Trece Martires City College (2015), City College of Naga (2015), Maasin City College (2015), and Colegio DeLas Navas (2015).
To date, the youngest member is Balian Community College (BCC) of Candelaria, Laguna who was admitted in May 2017.
STRENGTHENED ACCREDITATION PROGRAMS
A series of ALCUCOA Accreditation of academic programs of member local colleges and universities was conducted vis-à-vis the Capability Training Programs since December 2014 to present. Around nine (9) member schools of the ALCUCOA have subjected themselves under the Accreditation. First in line for Accreditation, using the old instrument were the Dalubhasaan ng Lungsod ng San Pablo (DLSP) and the Laguna University (LU) last December 11-13, 2014. Likewise, the University of Makati (UMAK) was bold enough to be the first school to try the ALCUCOA OBE Accreditation Instrument last January 26-28, 2015 followed by the Kapalong College of Agriculture, Science and Technology (KCAST). A number of schools joined the call of accreditation in the same year such as the Monkayo College of Arts, Science and Technology (MONCAST); the Governor Generoso College of Arts, Sciences and Technology (GGCAST), the City College of Calapan (CCC), the Pamantasan ng Cabuyao (PnC), and the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun).
In 2016, ALCUCOA was pleased to visit another set of schools and re-visit the previous year’s accreditation applicants. They were: Dalubhasaan ng Lungsod ng San Pablo (DLSP), Tagoloan Community College (TCC), Mabalacat City College (MCC), Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar), Kapalong College of Agriculture Science and Technology (KCAST), Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun), Pamantasan Ng Cabuyao (PNC) and Laguna University (LU).
To keep itself abreast with the changing landscape in Philippine HEIs, the ALCUCOA instrument was reformulated and is continually improved to serve as a vehicle for enhancement of competency and standards for the 21st century education.
PARTNERSHIP WITH CHED AND NNQAA
The new members of the Board of Directors took their oath of office with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman, Dr. Patricia Licuanan which strengthened the partnership of ALCUCOA with CHED.
CONTINUOUSLY DEFINING THE QUALITY OF ACCREDITATION AND PROFESSIONALIZING PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION QUALITY ASSURANCE IN THE PHILIPPINES.
On October 8-9, 2015, the 8th ALCUCOA Annual National Conference was held with the theme “ALCUCOA Responding to the Challenges of ASEAN Integration through Outcomes-Based Quality Assurance.” In the following year, October 10-11, 2016 the 9th Conference took off with the theme “Understanding Quality Assurance in the Context of Local and International Standards and Practices.” Both conferences were held at University of Makati.
(Note: This ALCUCOA history is a work in progress. This has been culled from the available secondary and primary sources as of September 2015.)